Download Episode (right click to save)
In 1999 we felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced…. but not for long. After much anticipation, Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace was released in theaters and Star Wars fans have been ranting ever since; due to poop jokes, Jar Jar Binks, midichlorians and a laundry list of other disenchanting factors. These issues deepened the love-hate relationship many fans had with “The Maker”, George Lucas, after he “remastered” the original trilogy. It wasn’t the film we were promised in the tantalizing trailers and compelling movie posters. The final product just didn’t measure up to the Star Wars we knew and loved, and the disappointment was visceral.
We could have covered Episode 1 on our podcast, a long time ago…. But Angela and I needed some distance from it—we needed time to “heal” ;) . If we didn’t give ourselves that time, our discussion about Star Wars Episode 1 would not have been a discussion at all. It would have been a gripe fest and we’ve all heard those before. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out our episode on the documentary: The People Vs. George Lucas. You’ll get an idea of the epic disappointment some fans felt, and still do.
I should have started by saying that we WANTED to love this movie, but alas it was a relationship that would never ever work…we just couldn’t see eye to eye. Nevertheless Angela and I have managed a sort of “cordiality” with Star Wars Episode 1 and over the years, we have been able to find a number of little things that we can say we like about it. Though we don’t love it, love it, it’s still apart of the larger picture—apart of the family. And even if we find it embarrassing and don’t have anything in common, because we’re way more mature, we have learned to accept it as kin.
We tried to be fair in our “re-examination”, by highlighting not only the exceedingly bad and the tremendously ugly aspects of Star Wars Episode 1, but the good stuff too. It has some redeeming qualities; stuff that sometimes gets overshadowed by the likes of Jar Jar. The soundtrack, by John Williams was awesome (as usual). The choreography of the lightsaber duels was mesmerizing! The costumes were gorgeous! And there’s more. Listen to the show and come and terms with one of the most embarrassing cousins in the Star Wars family. Then maybe you can find it within your heart to forgive Uncle George for conceiving it. ;)
After you’ve listened to our Star Wars Episode 1 discussion, please check out the other Star Wars films we’ve covered: A New Hope (from 2008), The Empire Strikes Back (from 2011) and Return of the Jedi (from 2013).
Let us know if you have you come to terms with the embarrassing cousin. Send us an email or comment below. Thanks for listening and reading! May the Force be with you.